JIS News

Come tomorrow (Feb. 17) a team of 30 Cubans and 30 Jamaicans would begin distributing energy saving bulbs to households in East Kingston and Port Royal in exchange for incandescent bulbs, which will be destroyed on receipt.
The move is part of the joint energy saving project between Jamaica and Cuba, which provides for the replacement of incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps or energy saving bulbs, in local households.
Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, Phillip Paulwell, speaking at a press conference held at his offices in Kingston on Tuesday (February 14), said that the project would begin as a pilot in East Kingston and Port Royal, with 30,000 energy saving bulbs to be distributed to households.
These bulbs are said to last for 10,000 hours, which is longer than the regular incandescent bulbs, are cooler, and use less energy to generate lighting. “These bulbs will add to the lives of Jamaicans in a positive way. It will improve their standard of living by reducing the energy they consume, thereby reducing their electricity bill,” the Minister outlined.
He noted that although the energy saving bulbs were more expensive, “consumers will in the long run, retrieve the additional expense and save significantly on their electricity bill.”
The Minister pointed out that frequent follow-up and assessments would be done to monitor and examine the success of the pilot project, as plans were in place to roll out the initiative nationwide, once the assessment showed that electricity use was significantly lowered.
According to the Minister, Cuba’s own energy saving programme was successful, and was “now a way of life for the Cubans, who have imported massive amounts of bulbs from China and are able to trace how each bulb contributes to the saving efforts.”
In her remarks, Cuba’s Ambassador, Gisela Garcia Rivera, stated that “Cuba is now having an energy revolution” and all the incandescent bulbs, household appliances and power generation were being replaced with more efficient, energy-saving technology.
In expressing his support for the thrust, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Public Service Company, Charles Matthews, pointed out that, “energy conservation must become well known by everyone if we are to cope with the unpredictable rising cost of energy. The cost of energy will not go down in the near future but if consumers control their usage, they can control how much they pay for electricity.”